Donald Maiden Jr., who celebrated his 8th birthday on Sunday, is struggling to recover at a Texas hospital after a 46-year-old white man shot him in the face on Tuesday, as the child played a game of tag outside his apartment complex, according to the Raw Story. Police have not been able to determine a motive.
According to his grandmother, Maiden ran inside to get some toys and was shot as came back outside.
Witnesses told police that 46-year-old Brian Cloninger had been seen waiving a handgun at people prior to the shooting, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Police reports said that Cloninger was seen standing beside his pickup truck as the boy was bleeding, and a witness asked him if he shot the boy.
“Yes, I shot that kid,” Cloninger reportedly said.
Maiden’s mother, Latamarin Locklin, recalled the aftermath of the shooting to KTVT on Thursday.
“When he ran in I just screamed,” she said. “His mouth was just hanging off and it was just a big hole… I just threw him on the couch and laid him in my arms and put pressure on his mouth with the towel.”
Locklin couldn’t understand why anyone would shoot her child “out of the blue.”
Maiden was listed in critical but stable condition on Thursday. Cloninger was arrested and charged with injury to a child, and was being held $2.2 million dollar bond, according to the report.